Evelyn Fletcher Davis

Biography

As one of the leading product liability and mass tort defense attorneys in the United States, Evelyn Davis has tried, managed, and settled thousands of cases across the country on behalf of industry leaders. She defends novel and complex issues involving toxic exposures from asbestos and chemicals to transportation and general liability litigation. Evelyn has been honored as one of Georgia’s Most Powerful and Influential Women for her contributions to the legal industry and business communities.

Trusted to handle the most challenging and dangerous cases, Evelyn knows how to create and use leverage to drive cost-effective outcomes. Her approach has resulted in dismissals and favorable settlements in an overwhelming majority of litigation she has handled for over 100 corporations. In 2023, Evelyn and her colleague obtained a Georgia federal victory that an insurance company does not owe coverage in a proposed class action of approximately 100,000 residents involving water pollution from PFAS contamination in waterways that supply drinking water. Two months later, she oversaw the defense verdict secured by Hawkins Parnell in a five-week trial in Washington with $85M in damages claimed against her client.

Evelyn thrives in dynamic and fast-paced environments, adapting quickly to the changing needs of her clients. Her leadership is highly sought after to protect the reputation of prominent brands and control sprawling litigation with national or global implications. She manages and coordinates litigation nationwide as national coordinating counsel to several global corporations. Clients value Evelyn's efficient and outcome-based approach to developing and implementing a cohesive litigation strategy that aligns with corporate objectives.

Clients describe Evelyn as a problem solver who makes big things happen. Whether handling a high-stakes trial or appeal in the federal courts or changing the litigation and legislative landscape, she is at the center of advancing the interests of businesses and the entire defense bar.

Representative Experience

  • Changed the Status Quo as National Coordinating Counsel: After becoming NCC for a leading multinational company with sprawling risks and inefficiencies, Evelyn and her team streamlined operations, slashed the case inventory by 67% in approximately three years, and reduced settlement values. The cohesive national strategy developed and implemented leveraged her relationships with opposing counsel, high-level motion practice, and tolling agreements. She also led the strategy to secure a defense verdict in 2023.
  • Transformed Florida Asbestos Litigation: Evelyn's leadership fundamentally shifted the litigation landscape in Florida to benefit the defense bar, steering the courts towards more balanced case management and ending mass trials in the state's largest jurisdictions. She was critical in advancing the Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act, leveraging it to secure dismissals of nonmalignant cases, and defending the legislation's constitutionality in the appellate courts. Her efforts extended to the forefront of legal battles in the Florida Supreme Court, where she contributed to defending key legal provisions. Evelyn continues to safeguard these reforms on the steering committee, which plaintiffs' firms are challenging.
  • Shutdown Florida Silica Litigation: Evelyn was central in effectively ending silica litigation within one year of the onset of filings in Florida. She was a leader in drafting a case management order that favored the defense and persuaded the court to adopt a skeptical attitude upfront towards silica claims. Her team drafted and filed motions to dismiss that demonstrated the factual and medical weaknesses of the silica cases, resulting in the plaintiffs’ firms and courts dismissing the filings.
  • Leader on Bankruptcy Trust Transparency and Legislation: Evelyn has been at the forefront of advocating for bankruptcy trust transparency and legislative reform since 2006, including voluminous publishing and lobbying efforts. Her expertise and findings have been shared widely through presentations, such as her speech at the American Tort Reform Association Annual Conference and through substantial writings and white papers. Evelyn's efforts extend to direct engagement with legislative bodies and lobbyists. She has met with proponents and opponents within the Florida House and Senate to advocate for her findings and testified before Florida and Georgia legislative committees.
  • Curbed Asbestos-Smoking Lung Cancer Filings Nationwide: Following Hawkins Parnell's defense verdicts in two landmark trials, Evelyn developed the blueprint for the defense bar to refute asbestos exposure claims in lung cancer cases involving smokers. At a client's request, she designed a national defense strategy and resources for counsel across the country to implement. Her work led to significant early-stage victories, decreased costs, and reduced case filings nationwide.
  • EPA: Since the inception of EPA Risk Evaluation for chrysotile and legacy issues, Evelyn has worked to help educate the defense on nuances, issues, and concerns in rulemaking.
  • Leader in Advancing Diversity in the Legal Industry: Evelyn established women's committees, which are thriving in the DRI and ADTA. She has chaired conferences and regularly presents topics related to diversity, inclusion, and equity in the legal profession. Evelyn also works closely with several Fortune 500 clients to make substantive progress on their legal and corporate DEI objectives. In 2023, Hawkins Parnell received UPS's Legal Diversity Award due to her leadership on the account.

Professional Expertise

Evelyn has a proven track record for developing strategy and executing innovative solutions for high-risk litigation. She has served as local, regional, and national counsel for over 100 corporations and is currently national coordinating counsel to four companies. A few of Evelyn’s clients include UPS, Saint-Gobain, Dana, Flowserve, Vesuvius, U-Haul, Koch Industries, Office Depot, and BP.

Evelyn is Hawkins Parnell’s relationship partner for several large insurance companies, advises insurance executives, and serves on litigation panels for various claims. She regularly works with over 20 carriers. She is also a key player in collaborating on special projects and efforts nationwide.

Toxic Tort and Product Liability

Evelyn has resolved thousands of cases involving asbestos, PFAS, talc, silica, mold, benzene, and chemicals. She has defended cases involving dozens of products, including wire and cable; brakes and linings for automobiles, trucks, motors, and cranes; gaskets in cars, trucks, and equipment; construction materials, joint compounds, building wall panels and wall boards; floor tiles and sheeting; cement; sewer pipes and pipe coverings; heat transfer products; pumps and packing; valves, steam and gas turbines.

Transportation

Evelyn defends global and national trucking companies, their drivers, and insurers against catastrophic injury and property damage claims. She has handled cargo claims under the Carmack Amendment for food products, including fresh produce.

Appellate

Evelyn pursues and actively defends cases in federal and state appellate courts nationwide. She has been part of numerous landmark victories. In addition to extensive experience in the appellate courts, she has led the defense bar in aggressive motion practice and enforcement of new legislation on a state level.

Services

Education

  • Florida State University College of Law  (J.D., cum laude, 1998)
    • Law Review; Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law; Journal of Transnational Law and Policy
  • University of California, Santa Barbara  (B.A., with honors, 1994)

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • New York

Courts

  • Supreme Court of Alabama
  • Florida Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Professional Affiliations

  • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (2010-present)
    • President (2022-2023)
    • President-Elect (2021-2022)
    • Board of Directors (2014-2017, 2019-present)
    • Vice President (2020-2021)
    • Diversity Committee (2013-present)
    • Long Range Planning Committee (2012-2013)
    • Finance Committee (2014)
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (2009-present)
    • Chair, Law Practice Management
    • Vice Chair, Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Committee
    • Vice Chair, Membership Development Committee
    • Georgia Representative, State and International Representatives
    • Professional Women's Forum
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (2008-present)
    • State Coordinator in Georgia for iCivics (2014-present)
  • International Insurance Law Association (2019-present)
  • Alabama Defense Lawyer’s Association (2008-present)
  • Florida Defense Lawyer’s Association (2008-present)
  • National Association of Women Lawyers (2005-present)
  • Georgia Defense Lawyer’s Association (2003-present)
    • Board of Directors (2007-2012)
    • Participant, Trial Academy (1998)
    • GDLA Newsletter Editor (2012)
  • DRI (2001 to present)
    • Board of Directors (2021-present)
    • Chair, Asbestos Medicine Seminar (2008-2024)
    • Chair, Talc Litigation Seminar (2019-2023)
    • Board of Directors, Regional Representative for Southeast (2008-2011)
    • Women in the Courtroom Committee (2007-present)
      • Chair (2009-2011)
    • Diversity Committee (2007-present)
    • Chair, Blockbuster Speaker Committee, Annual Meeting (2008-2010)
    • Chair, Women in the Profession Seminar (2010)
    • Vice Chair, Women in the Profession Seminar (2009)
    • Marketing Chair, Women in the Profession Seminar (2008)
    • Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee (2000-present)
  • Alabama State Bar (2000-present)
  • The Florida Bar (1999-present)
  • Atlanta Council Younger Lawyers (1998-2006)
    • Board of Directors (1998 to 2006)
  • Atlanta Bar Association (1998-present)
  • State Bar of Georgia (1998-present)
  • New York State Bar Association (2014-present)
  • Lawyers Club of Atlanta

Honors

  • DRI John. R. Kouris Presidential Award (2023)
  • America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2015-2024)
    • Insurance Law
    • Litigation - Environmental
    • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants
    • Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
    • Product Liability Litigation - Defendants
  • Georgia Super Lawyers (2014-2015, 2024)
  • Georgia Super Lawyers, Rising Star (2005-2006, 2009-2011)
  • Litigation Counsel of America Trial Lawyer Honorary Society, Fellow
  • Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Mass Torts Law,’ American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell (2013)
  • Most Powerful and Influential Women of Georgia, Georgia Diversity Council (2014)

Trials

  • Schmidt vs. Ameron International Corp., et al.
  • Phillips vs. Belvedere Contracting, Inc., et al.
  • Maxwell vs. Bennett Auto Supply, Inc., et al.
  • Temkin vs. Allied Glove & Safety Corp., et al.
  • Fernandez vs. American Optical Corporation, et al.
  • Grandis vs. American Optical Corporation, et al.
  • Buntz vs. Borg Warner Corporation, et al.
  • Berga, et al., vs. Albany International Corp., et al.
  • Boudreaux vs. Peter Clark
  • Woodward, et al., vs. Advance Auto Parts, Inc., et al.
  • Sluder vs. A.W. Chesterton Company, et al.
  • Santana vs. Bondex International, Inc., et al.
  • Flynt, et al., vs. Alfa Laval, Inc., et al.
  • Staier, et al., vs. Owens-Illinois, Inc., et al.
  • Mendez vs. Central Refrigerated, et al.
  • Pope vs. Owens-Illinois, Inc., et al.
  • Nicolella vs. Banner Supply Co., et al.
  • Mallia vs. Benett Auto Supply Co., et al.
  • Bentley vs. American Optical Corp., et al.
  • Lustgarten vs. A. W. Chesterton Co., et al.
  • Lagueux, et al., vs. ACandS, Inc., et al.
  • The Trust Company of Virginia as Executor of the Estate of James L. Perkins, et al., vs. AC&S, Inc., et al.
  • Piskur v. USG, et. al.

Presentations

  • "Handling High Risk and Complex Litigation - from Discovery through Trial," Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, Santa Fe, New Mexico (April 2024)

  • Diversity Empowerment Collaborative Presentation, IADC Midyear Meeting, Miami, FL (February 2024)

  • "Redefining Superwoman," Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, Las Vegas, Nevada (January 2023)

  • “The Best of Both Worlds - How In-Person and Online Marketing Complement Each Other and Can Translate Into Business,” Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) Winter Meeting, Palm Desert, California (March 2022)
  • "Strengthening Top-Notch Client Relations in the Post-Pandemic Landscape," Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia Women in the Law Committee By Women For Women Seminar, Roanoke, West Virginia (March 2022)
  • Program Chair, Asbestos Medicine Seminar, DRI (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023)
  • Program Chair, DRI Talc Litigation Seminar, Washington, DC (2019, 2021, and 2023)
  • “Client Development and Client Maintenance: Thriving in the New Normal,” Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, Webinar (January 2021 and February 2021)
  • "Update on the EPA/TSCA Chrysotile Risk Assessment: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly," DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar, Virtual (November 2020)
  • “Bankruptcy Trust Work Up for Asbestos and Talc Cases,” In-house Meeting (March 2019)
  • “Implicit Bias: Measure It, Understand It, and Defy It,” 2018 FDCC Annual Meeting, Maui, Hawaii  (July/August 2018)
  • “Succession Planning: Protecting Your Firm & Clients’ Legal Interests in Times of Transition,” IADC/FDCC Joint Law Firm Management Conference, Chicago, Illinois (April 2017)
  • “Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Transparency Issues in Florida,” Annual Legislative Conference, American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), Palm Beach, Florida (November 2016)
  • “Jurisdictional Update: Florida (2015-2016),“ Defense Asbestos Litigation Seminar, Las Vegas, Nevada (June 2016)
  • “Proving the Share Case: Witnesses and Document Proof,” Defense Asbestos Litigation Seminar, Las Vegas, Nevada (June 2015)
  • “In-House/Insurance Corporate Perspective,” Asbestos Defense Strategic Summit, Perrin Conferences, San Francisco, California (November 2014)
  • “Back to the Future: Combating the Reemergence of Lung Cancer Cases in Asbestos Litigation,” Winter Meeting, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (2014)
  • Speaker, Litigation Management College for Claims Professionals, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (2013 and 2014)
  • Program Chair, Women in the Law Seminar, DRI (March 2010)
  • “Ethics for the Everyday Lawyer,” Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers (June 2009)
  • “Women in the Law,” Annual Meeting, Georgia Defense Lawyers Association (June 2009)
  • Program Vice Chair, Women in the Law Seminar, DRI (March 2009)
  • “New Plaintiff and Product Investigation - For the Novice, the Experienced, and In Between,” Asbestos Medicine Seminar, DRI (2007, 2008, and 2009)
  • Program Marketing Chair, Women in the Law Seminar, DRI (2008)
  • “Women in the Law,” Alabama Defense Lawyers Association (2008)
  • “In-Depth Discovery Issues,” Mealey’s Benzene Litigation Conference (2008)
  • “Skits and Suds,” Continuing Legal Education Seminar for Young Lawyers, Georgia Defense Lawyers Association (2008)
  • “The Business of Practicing Law: The Hard Reality of What Law School Does Not Teach You About The Business of Law and Marketing,” Florida State University College of Law (2007)
  • “Role of Plaintiff in Trucking Mock Trial,” Preeminent Trial Lawyer Seminar, DRI (2007)
  • “Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty of a Silica Deposition,” Silica Medicine Seminar, DRI (2006)
  • “The Asbestos Deposition Primer - For the Novice, the Experienced, and In Between. What Makes a Great Plaintiff’s Deposition When You Take the Time To Do It Right,” Asbestos Medicine Seminar, DRI (2006)
  • Quarterly presentations at The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Multi District Litigation meetings